Ohio is the Amusement Park State. We have more amusement parks — in total, per capita, and per acre — than any other state.   

O-H?   I-O!

While this is an odd distinction, it’s important to the economy. And Ohio’s economy could stand to become a lot more amusing.

Now according to The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio, the schools around Cedar Point have decided to schedule their first day of school after Labor Day. Why? Because starting school earlier was bad for the amusement park business.

What the?
At first, this got my dander up. I thought, "Education must never curtsy to amusement."

But, then, I realized my first thought was wrong.

 Starting school after Labor Day is smart because it…

gives kids more great summer days. Kids need as many summer days as they can get.

conforms to memory. Labor Day is the day we expect summer vacation to end. Why fight that?

is easier. A lot of working families have a hard enough time arranging day care for the younger, pre-school siblings. Starting school right before a three-day weekend just taunts us all.

helps the local economy. What’s wrong with that? The entire summer vacation was designed so that, when we were an agricultural society, we’d have kids to work the fields. So vacation has always been about helping the local economy.

Will kids suffer less education? Nope. Er, no. The schools will still provide the state-mandated 180 days of education.

I just don’t want to hear any complaints from the kids in Sandusky when summer vacation starts a few days later next year. That’s the meaning of life kids, as taught to me by my ninth grade biology teacher, Phil Hess: "There’s no free lunch."

Here’s The Test
Where would you rather be: at school or on the Mantis? (I prefer the thrills of school.) Here’s the Mantis. Note: the riders are standing up!

Here’s how Cedar Point describes the Mantis on their website:

Stand up to your fears aboard Mantis. Built in 1996, Mantis is one of the tallest and fastest stand-up scream machines in the world.

Built by the same legendary manufacturers that brought guests the Raptor roller coaster, Bolliger and Mabillard (B & M), Monthey, Switzerland, Mantis is yet another unique ride experience at Cedar Point. Guests board high-tech trains and fly down a 145-foot-tall first hill at an outrageous top speed of 60 mph, all while standing up! That’s right, standing up!

In 2006, 1,110,685 guests conquered their fears and rode the Mantis, with more than 14 million riding since it first opened 11 seasons ago.

B&M, indeed.